“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3 (NIV)

“If I only knew God’s will for my life, I could plan my future.”

Have you ever made that statement?

I think we all do some time in our lives. I know I do.

I have heard teens say so as they peer into the future. I’ve known young adults who say so while choosing a career. I’ve had this discussion with friends when they realized a little time management allows for a few extra hours in each week. Other mothers and I have wondered the same when we¬†became empty nesters. I know those about to retire search for “God’s plan for this phase of my life.”

So what is God’s plan for our lives? If you are like me, you want particulars. Only I am not sure God always gives us the step-by-step instructions we desire.

I remember a time in my life when I asked God to give me direction. I asked that He tell me where to move. My husband and I had a choice, but had to give an answer quickly.

“Tonight,” my husband said, “I have to respond to the offer this evening.” He suggested I spend the day in prayer and give him the verdict by dinnertime.

I sat down at my dining room table to pray. I explained to God what He already knew: “We have these opportunities. Do we go here or there?”


“We want to go where You lead us. Where would that be?”


“We want to honor You.”


“Do You know that we have to give an answer today? I’m waiting to hear from You.” I sat as still as possible, trying to be patient.

God never told me where to go that day, but He did remind me that His plan for each one of us is universal and at the same time unique.

As I considered my two alternatives, my mind traveled back in time to the many moves my husband and I had made. Wherever we had lived, God had laid out unique opportunities for us to serve Him and each chance to minister appeared under one universal command, “Let your light shine. Love one another.”

He had never specifically told us to start a bus ministry, serve as youth leaders, host a neighborhood Bible study, or mentor teens in a youth home.

I began to realize that God was not going to tell me where to move. He had a message for me. I remember it to this day, twenty-two years later.

“It really doesn’t matter where you are. You are in Me and I am in you. Wherever you live, wherever you go, wherever you work, you will find people who need Me. Introduce them to your heavenly Father. Live a life that encourages others to seek Me. Love all people. Teach them how to live. Use your life, your actions, and My Word. This is what you can do whether you live here or there. Remember, wherever you go, I am with you. Wherever you go take Me with you and let your light shine.”

As I said, God never told me where we should move. We made our choice to take God with us asking Him to use our lives to bring His Light into others’ lives.

Ever wonder what God’s will is for your life? It’s simple:


Dear Lord, Your Word clearly details Your plan for my life. Forgive me for wanting all the specific details before I step out to reflect Your glory. I want to spend my days shining as a light in the darkness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

by Van Walton

4 Responses to Shine!

  1. Nubia Figueroa says:

    Thanks a lot for this message. When I read it it was as if HE was answering my question. thank you

  2. Charlena says:

    So…. what did you tell your husband at dinnertime?

  3. Elaine says:

    Thank you for sharing this simple yet profound truth. My grandson loves the song, “Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam.” I have had the blessing and privilege to care for him since he was born 4 years ago next month. He asks me to sing this song before nap time. It is my prayer for him that his precious life will shine for Jesus as he makes his choices in life as well in my life. Blessings to you and your ministry.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you!

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